Wood withdraws motion for appeal

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 16, 2008

VIDALIA — Connor Wood withdrew his motion for a new trial in Seventh Judicial District Court Wednesday.

Wood was convicted of three counts second-degree murder in April for the deaths of his parents and a neighbor, and was given three life sentences later that month. He was 16 at the time of his conviction.

In mid-September, Wood filed a motion requesting a new trial because the law firm that the prosecutor in case — district attorney-elect Brad Burget — belonged to had previously represented Judge Leo Boothe, who oversaw the trial, in a civil matter. The motion alleged that this made the trial have an “appearance of impropriety.”

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The motion for a new trial asked that Boothe be recused from the case for that reason, but at the time Burget said he has never personally represented Boothe and that the filing of the motion was untimely, because a request for a new trial has to be filed before sentencing.

With the withdrawal of the motion, Wood’s case will go back into appeal status, and will be reviewed by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, Assistant District Attorney Ann Siddall said.

Wood’s legal matters in the appeal are being handled by the Louisiana Appellate Project, which is funded by the Louisiana Public Defender’s Board.

Wood, now 17, is currently housed at Wade Correctional Facility in Homer, La.